Friday, 23 February 2018

23 February 2018

This week, Dr Michael Scott returned to Bolton School to talk about Sicily: an island for everyone which serves as a mirror for globalisation. He recapped the rich, multicultural history of the island, covering its identity in Greek mythology and as the 'breadbasket' of Rome, and discussing its unique ability in the early Middle Ages to bring together diverse cultures that could not get along elsewhere. He also talked about the problems Sicily faces today, including mass migration.

The School's elite athletes and Junior School pupils enjoyed an inspirational afternoon with Rio 2016 Paralympian and GB Wheelchair Rugby athlete Ayaz Bhuta and Old Boy Dr Vasudevan Mani, who is Leeds Rhinos’ Team Doctor. They each delivered a fascinating insight into sport at the highest level.

At the end of the week, the Divisions went head to head in a boys vs girls archery competition held at lunchtime. After shooting over short and long distances, the Boys' Division emerged victorious overall.

Friday, 16 February 2018

16 February 2018

Bolton School has won Whole-School Community Initiative of the Year Award at the prestigious TES Independent School Awards. Judges praised the "extraordinary amount of work being done" and called the School and its efforts "A shining city on the hill." Read more about why the School was entered in this category here.

Last week, Bolton School Boys' Division hosted the first northern Young Scientists Journal Conference. Pupils with a passion for science were treated to a day that emulated what it would be like to be a real peer-review scientist attending a conference, with lectures, workshops, discussions and more on offer. All of the pupils who took part threw themselves into the activities and had fun throughout the day.

A Flickr album of further photographs from the day is available here.

It has been an enterprising week for pupils at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School. They learned about a wide range of jobs from parents, who were happy to share their professions with the Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes. Pupils also took part in a range of activities to develop skills that might be useful in the workplace.

The first trainee teacher to pass through Bolton School as part of the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme has completed her time with the School. She spent a busy half term teaching Spanish and French and shadowing a Year 10 form tutor, as well as attending INSET and departmental meetings and completing lesson observations.

The Junior Boys' Music Festival celebrated the wide range of talent across the year groups. The two day event was adjudicated by Mr Powell, who expertly judged each of the categories, culminating in groups and ensembles. This was a fitting high-note on which to end another hugely popular and successful Music Festival.

A group of pupils visiting from Bocai Boarding School in China enjoyed a taster morning at Bolton School. The children are visiting the North West with the intention of applying to schools in the region during the next academic year. The children were assigned Bolton School "buddies" to help them get around the campus, and they enjoyed a series of taster lessons capped off with a typical Bolton School lunch.

Pupils in the Junior Girls' School discovered the languages and culture of India on their annual Modern Foreign Languages Day. Each pupil completed a 'passport' of activities throughout the day and took part in an Indian dance workshop, arts and crafts activities, language lessons focused on songs, and a delicious themed lunch from the catering department!

In sport, Girls' Division Year 8 pupil Lucy Dixon has won a handful of medals over the course of three weekends in the Lancashire County Swimming Championships. She is now Lancashire County Champion in the Girls' U13 800m Freestyle event, and won podium positions in a further five events!

The Year 8 boys' Vaulting Final was once again a remarkable occasion. The finalists had the difficult task of performing under pressure not only in front of the judges, but also before an audience of their peers during morning assembly which was held in the gym. Mr Johnson and Mr Chilton were very impressed by all of the boys' efforts. All eight boys received certificates, with the top three receiving medals for first, second and third place.

Year 9 pupil Lizzy Harkness has been invited to the FA National Performance Camp (NPC) at the University of Warwick at the end of the month. This camp is for players who have been identified as having elite potential.

Two Girls' Division pupils have helped the Bolton Town team achieve success at the Greater Manchester Championships, which were held at Heaton Park. The girls' strong finished positioned helped both the Year 7 and Year 8/9 Bolton Town teams finish in second place.

Girls' Division pupils in Year 7 have been learning more about staying safe online as part of their PSHEE programme. The girls produced projects focusing on online safety following discussion in their forms.

Pupils in Years 11 and 12 learned more about unusual degree options and unconventional career choices at a Specialist Careers Day. Representatives from several universities visited the School to talk about the courses on offer, from Operating Department Practice (ODP) to Earth and Environmental Sciences, Aerospace Engineering to Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The opt-in day was popular and very informative.

Friday, 9 February 2018

9 February 2018

This week marked 100 years since the first women were given the vote in the UK, and the Girls' Division library celebrated the occasion with a display of inspirational fiction and non-fiction books, propaganda posters from a century ago, and newspaper articles talking about the inequalities that still remain.

The annual Junior Girls' Music Festival took place, with the event split into a Piano Day and Instrumental and Ensemble Day. A wide range of instruments were on show, including double bass, saxophone, electric guitar, drums, violin, clarinet and ukulele. The girls enjoyed performing and being part of the audience.

Ten aspiring mathematicians at Lostock Primary School have boosted their learning by attending after-school classes with two Bolton School Girls' Division teachers. Mr Wrigley and Miss Doran focused their tuition to help the pupils improve their grades on their National Curriculum Assessments.

Nine Girls' Division pupils have been selected for Lancashire Lacrosse U13 A and B squads. They will play in the Northern Counties tournament in a few weeks.

Seven Boys' Division students in Year 9 and above have achieved success in the annual inter-school quiz competition. They acquitted themselves admirably throughout the competition and returned with a trophy.

On Monday, Year 13 students in the Boys' Division heard from Old Boy Richard Garland, who is now a police officer, about the effects of drug abuse. He in particular focused his talk on the negative impact that drugs have on mental health and lifestyle.

The SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays programme has once again inspired a group of Year 5 pupils from the local area. Running over the course of the Spring term in the Boys' and Girls' Divisions, the course aims to offer a variety of activities to widen students' learning both within and beyond the normal curriculum.

Watch some videos from recent SHINE sessions: MusicChemistryFood Technology and Physics.

Friday, 2 February 2018

2 February 2018

Last year, 33 girls in Year 11 at Bolton School took part in National Citizen Service (NCS), meaning that almost one third of the year group was involved! Now, the current Year 11s have visited Bolton Lads and Girls Club to find out more about the NCS scheme and how they can get involved, boost their skills and make a difference.

The Joint Chamber Choir has reached the national final of the Barnardo's Choral Competition. The group, which consists of boys and girls from Years 10-13, has already beaten off stiff competition and will sing at the Royal Festival Hall on Monday 12 March alongside six other secondary school finalists.

Pupils in the Junior Girls' School were inspired to join in the annual Library writing competition by the adventures of Paddington Bear. They were asked to imagine they were Paddington, writing a letter home to Aunt Lucy, and came up with a huge range of creative responses which really impressed the judges. The results were announced in assembly, with five girls receiving books and one overall winner taking home Paddington himself!

The Girls' Division Junior and Intermediate Swimming Teams excelled in a recent swimming gala held at Bolton One. Both teams were crowned Town Champions after their excellent performances.

Pupils in both Senior Schools and the Junior Girls' School traded Bolton School for Hogwarts as they celebrated Harry Potter Book Night in the Libraries with some magical lessons. They competed for House Points as they tried to identify Fantastic Beasts from Pictionary-style drawings and Charades-style mimes.

Boys' Division pupils in Blackburn House recently made a huge donation of toiletries to Night Safe, a charity helping young homeless people in the Blackburn area.

Sixth Form pupils enjoyed taking part in a French Day which immersed them in the language and the topics they are studying at A Level. Years 12 and 13 discussed a wide range of complex issues related to the curriculum, and the experience will undoubtedly have helped to increase their confidence and fluency.

Dr Zubair Hanslot and James Kitson from the University of Bolton visited pupils at the Junior Boys' School to talk to them about careers in Engineering. They inspired the boys with descriptions of what engineers do and how they "change the world" with creative problem solving, using maths and science. The boys were also excited to meet the university's programmable robot, Able.

This year's Joint Production is The Tempest. Pupils will put on Shakespere's final play from 14 to 17 March, with tickets on sale at £5 each. Though the Saturday night performance has now sold out, there is limited availability Wednesday-Friday: book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment!

Friday, 26 January 2018

26 January 2018

Dick Moore spent the day at Bolton School Boys' Division, providing students, staff and parents with his personal insights into 'dealing with your adolescent'. His hard-hitting presentation recapped his story: how he had been a successful teacher, eventually becoming a headteacher, and brought up four boys. He then revealed that one of his sons, Barney, took his own life at the age of 21. Dick touched on depression, stress, self-harm and other mental health issues in his talk. He also spoke about the importance of talking about emotions, not expecting perfection, and teaching self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making.

Mrs Browning reflected on a wonderful and busy first term as the new teacher of Bolton School's Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds. She talked about the wide range of exciting activities and experiences that the Nursery Class provides and the joys of teaching this age group.

Pupils at the Junior Boys' School were captivated by a performance from the Boys' Division Senior School Brass Group at lunchtime. The junior pupils thoroughly enjoyed listening to the music, which included recent hits like 'Uptown Funk' and demonstrations of the trumpet and trombone.

Old Boy Jarlath Pratt returned to the Boys' Division to talk to Year 13 students about his career in law. He was able to reveal the realities of the job, from what it's like to be a junior lawyer to the intricacies of his current role as Head of Legal in Europe at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.

The U14 Badminton team are now Greater Manchester champions and will go on to play in the North West final. They beat tough competition in the group stage and semi-final before breezing through the final to victory!

There are a number of exciting events coming up as the Girls' Division's calendar of Arts and Sciences Enrichment Lectures continues. All of the following talks are free and open to the public, and begin at 7pm in the Girls' Division Great Hall.

Next week, on Wednesday 31 January, philosopher and theologian Dr Peter Vardy will give a talk about Sexual Ethics. Dr Vardy is well known for engaging young people with big ideas that are important to them, and this promises to be a useful evening for those interested in religious studies, philosophy, or ethics and values.

Dr Michael Scott will visit the School on 20 February to speak about 'Sicily - An Island For Everyone'. His address will be based on his most recent television programme, Sicily: Wonder of the Mediterranean, which was shown on the BBC and charted the island's history from the Neolithic period to the present day.

On 5 March, the School will host the Royal Statistical Society's annual William Guy Lecture, which will be given by Jeff Ralph from the Office for National Statistics. He will talk about 'Society and teenagers - how statistics reveal the changes in young people's lives through the last century'.

If you would like more information about any of the forthcoming events, or would like to confirm that you will be attending one of the talks, please contact the Girls' Division Coordinators for Academic Enrichment:

Arts: Mrs J Hone (
Sciences: Mr B Ickringill (

Friday, 19 January 2018

19 January 2018

Bolton School is to be at the forefront of a new Department for Education drive to recruit more Mathematics, Physics and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) teachers. The School will be the Northern hub school for the National Maths and Physics SCITT (School-centred Initial Teacher Training), as well as the National Modern Foreign Languages SCITT. These initiatives hope to spearhead subject specific teacher training in shortage subject areas, and buck the trend in declining applications for Teacher Training.

Pupils at the Junior Boys' School had lots of fun learning about Great Britain and British values with Pop Project. The presentation involved lots of meaningful music and the boys sang along to classics like 'Love Train' and 'We Are Family'. They also found out more about the four countries that make up Great Britain through costumes and musical instruments.

Junior Girls' School pupil Coco is appearing in the Octagon Theatre's production of Jane Eyre, taking on the role of Adèle, Mr Rochester's ward. This is the first time Coco has been involved in the full rehearsal process, and she has really enjoyed working with the rest of the cast and crew in the run-up to her opening night.

Children in Year 2 at Beech House Infant School went on a trip to the Maritime Museum to learn more about the Titanic. This was a great day out for the pupils, who were able to discover many more details about the sinking of the ship and how people were rescued.

The School Archivist, Eric Fairweather, has written a new book about the history of the Girls' Division. From the formation of Bolton Day School for Girls in 1877 to the present day, the illustrated book looks at the tenure of each Headmistress and the changes the school has undergone through the years. Pride in the past; confidence in the future can be purchased from the Bolton School Merchandise website for £15.00.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

21 December 2017

The last week of term began with the traditional Ceremony of Carols in the Girls' Division, which was themed around the Lamb of God. The readings throughout the evening reminded the audience of the true meaning of Christmas, while a series of uplifting choral performances and carols made this a special occasion as always.

Listen to some of the Ceremony of Carols songs on Soundcloud, or watch videos of the performance via the following links: Hodie & Once in Royal David’s CityLittle Clouds (Middle School Choir), Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (The Accidentals), Seal Lullaby (Senior Choir), No Room, No Room (Chamber Choir), Away in a Manger (Senior Choir), Prayers set to musicThe Little Road to Bethlehem (Combined Choirs).

The Boys' Division Christmas Festival was once again a joyful occasion filled with rousing carols, interspersed with poignant readings. The Bishop of Bolton gave a meaningful festive address which reminded the audience of what Christmas is truly about, and the School's choirs were in fine voice throughout the evening.

Watch some of the Christmas Festival performances via the following links: Angels Tell the Christmas Story (Boys’ Division Choir), James R Murray's Away in a Manger (Boys’ Division Choir), William Blake's The Lamb (Chamber Choir), What a Glorious Night (Lower School Choir).

The Junior Boys also put on their annual Carol Service as the term drew to a close. The evening showcased the vocal talents of the boys with a series of moving musical pieces, including a multi-lingual rendition of 'Silent Night'.

The Junior Girls' Christmas Concert 'Hosanna Rock!' is now available to view online. Click the following links to watch the whole performance: Part 1, Part 2.

Children from the Nursery and the Nursery Class for Three and Four Year Olds visited Parkview Residential Home for a Christmas performance. They sang songs from their nativity 'Away in a Manger' for the elderly residents. Their festive performance was a special treat for the residents and was a great prelude to Christmas.

Pupils in Year 1 ended the nativity season at Bolton School with their performance of 'Shine Star, Shine'. Their parents and family members were delighted as the children took to the stage to tell the story of Christmas. The tale focused on the star that lit the way for shepherds and wise men alike, showing them the way to the newborn baby Jesus.

In the Girls' Division, the annual Christmas Cake Club has been under way this term and the results are stunning! All of the girls' efforts were impressive this year, which made judging them particularly difficult. However, the winning entry was deemed to be "out of this world" and the prize went to Yer 10 pupil Annabelle.

Pupils at Beech House provided some festive entertainment at the Tea at the Riley. This monthly tea party is run by Sixth Form girls for elderly people in the local community, and the Infants' singing provided something extra-special for the Christmas event.

Children at Bolton School's Nursery enjoyed a Christmas Singalong with Rhythm Time. Parents and grandparents were invited to join the children for this fun event, and they loved singing, dancing and playing along to a host of different seasonal songs.

Year 7 pupils have been thinking of others this Christmas time. Usually, each Form collects an 'Advent Calendar' of small treats, one of which is given to a different girl each day in December. However, this year, the girls in 7C decided to forego their treats and instead bring in a new item each day which could be passed on to local homeless people.

Elsewhere in the Girls' Division, pupils have been hard at work doing some festive fundraising for a variety of charities. And whole school Christmas Jumper Day, the Year 10 Christmas Post and the Prefects' Panto all raised money for worthy causes in the final days of term.

In less Christmassy news, Millie Hurt in Year 11 has been selected to play for the U19 Wales Lacrosse squad! She already plays for Bolton School, Brooklands and Lancashire U18s.

Pupils in Year 8 were visited in the last week of term by Toni Forrest and her guide dog Quilla, so that they could learn more about how important guide dogs are to blind and partially sighted people. Toni's talk gave them a better idea of what it is like to be be blind, and just how big a difference a guide dog can make to someone's life.

A group of twenty-five pupils in Year 10 took on the Knead for Speed Aero Challenge. Working with researchers from Manchester University, they were tasked with making model cars more aerodynamic by modelling with Plasticine! The girls listened to the researchers' presentation on forces and aerodynamics and were able to implement their advice in their models. The best of the model cars was 3D scanned and placed into a virtual wind tunnel so that everyone could see how the air would move around the model the girls had created.